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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 7, 2011 10:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

As some of you may know, today dead.net emailed an MP3 link of the new mix of this song to folks who've bought the E72 box set.

I compared it to the sources here...
First thing, it's at the same pitch as the "repitched" version here:
http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-04-14.sbd.miller-repitched.76006.flac16

The mix placement is much the same (bass/drums/piano in the middle), the main difference there is that the drums have more of a stereo spread in the new mix.
Sonically of course, the new mix is clearer & punchier as far as bass & drums go - and Garcia is a LOT louder in the new mix (a good thing, of course!).
The tradeoff is, Keith is buried in the background for some reason. You can really hear him up-front in our copies, but Jeff Norman decided to mix him really low in the new mix...a shame, I think, as he provides a lot of the bounce to the music here.
In short, it's more of a Garcia-focused mix...

Norman was interviewed about the mixing on David Gans' marathon a couple weeks ago, and I found his comments a little troubling - basically, he only just started mixing these shows in February, and has a 22-week deadline, so he admits that this is more of a rush job than he's used to. (When interviewed, he also didn't know yet how he'd deal with reel gaps, or the songs the Dead overdubbed for the album.)
http://cloudsurfing.gdhour.com/archives/4300

He even mentions bringing Keith down in the mix because he feels that sometimes Keith just "gets in the way"!
Granted, the finished shows will sound great anyway - even if the piano's a little hard to hear...

By the way - dead.net also mentioned that the finished box set will be 72 CDs.

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2011-03-08 06:12:05

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Poster: cb18201 Date: Mar 10, 2011 10:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

maybe one more listen?

http://www.gdhour.com/music/JeffreyNorman_110204.mp3

First off I think the new mix sounds great. I don't find Keith really buried at all. Its more or less the same volume. Maybe a tiny tiny bit quieter if anything. Overall I really like the mix though, sounds very clear and punchy. As for Norman saying Keith "gets in the way".....he also said right before it "Keiths playing great" and goes on to say how sometimes Keith just plays steady chord clusters and tonal things on some songs without alot of fills so he wouldn't feature that in a mix. Its almost like having an extra rhythm guitar banging away. To me that means hes gonna bring Keith up in the parts where he shines the most and back him off on the more rhythm parts. When he says "gets in the way" I don't think he means it as if Keiths playing itself is bad, I think he means that certain piano parts might dominate the mix to much if its brought up. I think Norman just used a poor choice of words. During this interview he talks about working on the 4/16/72 - Aarhus, Denmark show. If you listen to the Deal from that show you'll see what he means. It kinda does seem like Keith doesn't really know what to play. It's mostly chord bangin' with a few fills. He also talks about bringing people up at certain times in certain songs if they are doing something interesting. And also says he knows that we (the consumers) "want to hear parts" meaning a bass riff from Phil or a piano fill from Keith. David Gans is the one who suggests editing out parts to make a song better which I think is completely unacceptable. I want it with mistakes and all. Thats the whole point of it being a "LIVE" show. Editing out mistakes is for Studio albums. Either way Im not worried about Norman doin the mixing. Listen to the Rockin' The Rhein. Those mixes sound amazing. And its gonna be Re-re mixed to sound even better. Reminds me of the great Mitch Hedberg quote: "I remixed the remix and it was back to normal"

And the way they're doing it really seems to be the only way you can. Just gotta sit down and attack it one show at a time. It would be impossible to pull out every tape ahead of time and go through all of them one song at a time just to make sure every note is there first. Therefore they must already know they have at least 98% of the music that was played and enough tapes to cover all gaps. Im sure there are a few places where there gonna have to splice and patch in.

Just for some more info I emailed D. Lemieux telling him about how alot of us felt that we would rather have them take their sweet time than rush anything. I'll be glad to wait any extra time for it to be perfect. I've waited this long already. I can wait a little longer. This is what Dave had to say (which was good to hear):


"Rest assured nothing is going to be released until it is 100% perfect. We aren't rushing anything, and as you might have heard if you downloaded the Playing In The Band today, it is going to sound every bit as good as it should, which is to say perfect, and as good as any previous Europe '72 release. In fact, likely better due to the Plangent Processes system.

I do appreciate the concern, though. But truthfully, nothing is more important to us on this than the quality, and we won't be done until it's done."

DL






Well there you have it. I guess its just up to everyones own personal taste whether they like the mixes or not.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Mar 10, 2011 1:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

Good information and intelligent post cb18201.

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Poster: cb18201 Date: Mar 10, 2011 2:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

Thank you. It's been on my mind since the day I heard it was coming out. I was pretty confident they would never release these shows as a box set. At least not in my lifetime anyways, and I never imagined it would be such an elaborate design (steamer trunk, book, etc). I was also glad to hear there not gonna rearrange any sets and use four discs if necessary. That's pretty weird how it came out to exactly 72 discs.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Mar 7, 2011 10:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

i didn't order the box set due to lack of funds, but this is still kind of disconcerting. new mixes can sometimes be a double-edged sword, it seems, since it's at the discretion of the mixer's tastes.

i find it crazy that JN thinks Kieth sometimes "gets in the way." wtf?? if you're just talking about this Playin' in particular, to me he totally DRIVES this jam. everyone knows he was such an integral part of the band's sound.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: Mar 8, 2011 5:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

It's tough to judge what the final product will sound like, MP-3 streams compared to the HDCD disc played back on a good transport and DAC.

However, on this MP-3 stream, agreed, the recording and mix appear pedestrian.

This comment from the e-mail was of interest;

While we try our hardest for accuracy, we were a bit off in our original count of the CDs included in the Europe '72 boxed set. Now that we're rolling full-steam ahead on the mixing and mastering of the boxed set, we've decided to not break up any segued jam sequences that took place on the tour to squeeze the longer shows onto 3 CDs per show, nor will we be re-sequencing any shows to make them fit onto 3 CDs. What this means is that several shows will need to be bumped up to 4 CDs per show, resulting in the boxed set now containing 72 CDs, an increase from the 60+ discs we originally told you. No, that number is not a gimmick, it just happened that 72 is where the final tally landed, much to our surprise. Sure hope you don't mind...

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Poster: Death&Mercy Date: Mar 8, 2011 5:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

I'd prefer more Jerry in a 1977 release. It's kind of a goofy band with one guy performing brilliantly at times. Same could be said for much of the 79-81 period (more Jer, that is).

1972, however, sounds good to me as it currently circulates, especially Eur 72. I'll have to listen to the finished product before drawing any concrete conclusions, but I will be surprised if less Keith is a good thing. I really enjoy the guy's contributions to that tour. I have yet to listen to a Eur 72 track, and think "wow, that Keith dude is really getting in the way" ....

Can anybody point to a Eur 72 song where there is too much Keith? Maybe I'm wrong. I'll certainly listen.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Mar 8, 2011 4:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

I just don't understand some of the business moves these folks have made for a long time.
Is it a boutique product so everything is on a shoestring? By the response it would seem that not only would you be able to sell more units, but maybe you could take some more time, hire the man some extra help. Burying KG in the mix is just plain stupid. Did they mention if Pig's organ was buried as well? (no nasty jokes please ;-)
There are many people who know these shows like the back of their hand and are really excited. I hope they don't get screwed.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Mar 8, 2011 5:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

I am not convinced they sold as many units as initially reported. Sounds like a lot of people reserved codes and then didn't actually cash in. People who thought they were going to get the CD only version were getting emails saying they are getting the box and i think i read one guy said he was getting the personalized box. I hope what this means is that the vultures who thought they were going to cash in realized and tried to sell the codes, were unsuccessful and they bailed.

I wonder how much they are going to make on this deal. 72 discs for $450. $6.25/disc with all that packaging and that includes shipping. The RTs go for about 8 bucks a disc not including shipping and the packaging on those can't be too expensive, right?

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Mar 8, 2011 7:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

el, I just don't get their business plan. Maybe I'm not smart enough. I am happy to see the speculators get an initial hit. However, they will go for mucho bucks down the line (w/original wrapping).

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 8, 2011 5:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

Right; I find this all interesting relative to what you all were explaining to me with my stone age queries about "how" it was being charged/logged/etc, a while back.

Just to refresh, someone could put in their order, the "charge amt" showed (?) on their card, but they could just cancel by calling back in or some such? And obviously, at some level, the "product" went from "very special" to "sorta special" to "anyone can have it in any form they want" or something like that? (note: I do NOT mean relative to the value of it to fans of 72; I mean in a purely "market level" sense).

All in all, it suggests someone is monitoring activity, making "biz decisions" on the fly, etc., etc., etc. Not saying they are good/bad, but suggests they do have some access to some of the data we discuss periodically (ie, #s of those willing to buy over what time frame for what level of product, etc., etc).

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Mar 8, 2011 5:55am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

You didn't even have to give them a credit card initially. It was a sign up for the code, then they emailed you the code then you used the code and your credit card to reserve a copy. The code had an expiration date on it which recently passed.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 8, 2011 6:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

Ah--my bad; hmmm--suppose that means that the very lg numbers of "pre-purchases" were thus, not so meaningful a number (except in an "interest" sense, and contained those only wishing to make a profit, and those with a "real need", etc.).

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Poster: Jim F Date: Mar 8, 2011 12:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

Eh, Norman doesn't know his head from his ass. "Gets in the way." Hell.

22 weeks pretty much works out to one show a week. I suppose that is enough time, if you're focusing on it 8 hours a day for 5 days. 40 hours seems like a lot of time to work on one show, but knowing all that goes into the mixdown process, and the typical problems and issues with old vault reels, it does seem like a bit of a crunch.

And what does he mean he doesn't know what to do about reel gaps? So they're just now starting mixdown, and he doesn't even have an answer to a question that is pretty simple (either edit and crossfade, patch in from another performance, or patch in from a different source, like they did with the 2 track reels on the Fillmore 69 set)? I would have thought this whole project would have been a little more thought out than that.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 8, 2011 4:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

Yeah, that baffled me too. Not just that they didn't even START mixing these until AFTER the big box-set sellout, but that the guy in charge of mixing doesn't even know what tape sources are available or how he's going to edit. (I loved it when he said, "I think Rob Eaton has some 2-tracks on DAT, you'll have to ask David..." Or when he's asked who'll decide on whether to use the Dead's overdubs: "I don't know - I guess me.")
They only just figured out how many CDs this set would be, too...
You can tell how much planning went into this!

To be fair, the interview was weeks ago, & he'd probably have better answers today; and there may have been reasons for a late start on the mixing. They do have other releases to prepare as well... (The 4/1/88 release might've been weeks in the making!)

But yeah, there are the 3 choices for the reel gaps - internal edit, 'fly in' a piece of a different show, or patch in a 2-track - so we'll see which ways he ends up going.

One week may well be a brief time for a 'creative' mixer like Norman to spend on a show - he briefly mentioned that the vocal tracks have to be brought down whenever they're not singing; instrument levels may be changed during the jams; players making 'mistakes' might be mixed low to try to cover it up; and who knows what else... The hours could easily fly by. I'll be amazed if we actually see a September release!

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Poster: high flow Date: Mar 8, 2011 3:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

Mixing bad notes out of a show sounds ridiculous to me. Is that what the hardcore GD fan wants in his holy grail release? Is this type of mixing taking mixing too far?

I'm all for removing buzzes and pops and crackles, but I want and expect to hear that breaking string or bad chord BETTER than EVER.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Mar 8, 2011 5:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

"I'll be amazed if we actually see a September release!"

I'd rather they get it right then right on time. I thought the PITB sounded pretty good. The sound quality seemed like a real upgrade and the drums sound like Billy is sitting next to me. I agree that Keith is low, but not gone. Hopefully they will bring Keith up at points where he is not in the way (a ridiculous comment) like in Paris.

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Poster: ice9freak Date: Mar 8, 2011 2:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Playing in the Band 4/14/72

I haven't listened to the Playin' teaser yet, but I'm in total agreement about the timetable issue. I've pre-ordered a personalized version and would love for it to show up at my door this second, but if mixing it takes a whole year instead of six months, then a year it is. We're talking about a release that will, in effect, lock-up a whole tour's worth of SBDs. Anything less than an improvement on the currently available recordings would be a dishonor to the music.

(edit: actually listening right now. Jerry and Bob sound great, and Billy sounds f-ing incredible. Phil seems just right to my ear. Keith indeed gets harder to pick out when Phil and Jer get louder in the jam...)

This post was modified by ice9freak on 2011-03-08 22:56:50

This post was modified by ice9freak on 2011-03-08 22:57:31